Culture Wars/Current Controversies

One Pill, Two Pill, Red Pill, Blue Pill: Herbert Marcuse and the Administered Society


The New Discourses Podcast with James Lindsay, Episode 18 Repressive Tolerance Series, Part 2 of 4 In this second part of his annotated reading of Marcuse’s “Repressive Tolerance,” James Lindsay reads and explains the portion of the essay where Marcuse defines the “administered society” that he claims we live in. The listener will find striking parallels to today’s world, which certainly qualifies as the type of “administered society” far more accurately than the world that Marcuse inhabited in the 1960s when he wrote the essay, but paradoxically, or ironically, because it adopts the logic of this very essay as justification for its administration! This part of the series, then, raises particularly interesting questions about whether or not Marcuse would support the fruits of his own work and thus sheds interesting light on the problem we currently find ourselves in. It sets the stage for answering at the end of the series how we might go about solving this problem while avoiding the mistake Marcuse plainly made.

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